Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Ultimate Growing Guide 2022

Fortunately, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is easier to grow than it is to say! In fact, Pogostemon Stellastus Octopus is one of the easiest stem plants to grow. It is practically bulletproof.

This beautiful plant quickly grows to fill any space it is planted in. Whilst not necessarily one for a highly aquascaped tank, it certainly has its uses. I especially like to use Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus in all my breeding fish for profit tanks.

Overview of Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a hardy, fast-growing stem plant that is particularly loved by fish breeders. The name Octopus comes from the plants’ infinite number of tentacle-like leaves that shoot out from almost every inch of the stem.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a great plant for those who are new to aquarium plants. Although a relative newcomer to the aquarium hobby, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus has become exceeding popular.

Fish breeders have found Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus so useful because of its ability to create a mass of foliage, creating an almost infinite number of places for baby fish and shrimp to hide from hungry adult fish.



Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Characteristics

Common Name:Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Pogo, Octopus Plant
Scientific Name:Pogostemon quadrifolius
Family:Lamiaceae
Origins:Southeast Asia
Care Level:Easy
Growth Rate:Fast
Light Level:Low
C02 Level:Low
Tank Location:Midground or background
Temperature:68°F – 82°F (20°C – 27.5°C)
Color:Bright Green
Propagation Method:Cuttings
Maximum Height:20″ (50cm)
Minimum Tank Size:10-gallons (38 liters)

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus General Description

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a bright green, fast-growing stem plant that under ideal conditions can grow up to 12″ (30cm) a week! The dark-colored stems throw out dozens of leaves from root to tip, creating a mass of dark and light green which provides amazing cover for baby fish and shrimps.

This plant is undemanding and will grow strong even under low light conditions and without injecting CO2. It does however like the addition of liquid fertilizer each week.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is not too fussy about water temperature, pH, or whether or not it is growing in soft or hard water.



Ideal Tank Conditions for Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is not a fussy plant. It will grow in a wide range of water conditions and works well in many different tank setups. In my own fish room, I have Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus growing in small tanks, large breeding ponds, and pretty much everything in between.

This plant is happy growing in a fairly wide temperature range with 68°F to 82°F (20°C to 27.5°C) being the optimal temperature. Truth be told, I have it growing in a breeding pond with baby Fancy Goldfish, which runs at around 64°F (18°C) and in a tank of Discus, which is probably nearer to 84°F (29°C). It seems to be happy in all situations.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is fairly easygoing when it comes to light too. Providing you have at least a reasonable aquarium light, it will grow well. In many of my tanks, I use the Aquasky light, which is made by Fluval, and the Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus in those takes looks stunning.

I also have it growing in tanks that are lit by regular shop lights, and even in those tanks, the Pogostemon is growing like a weed.

Some articles online will have you believe that Pogostmeon Stellatus Octopus needs CO2 to be injected into the aquarium for it to grow well. Let me assure you, it doesn’t. The majority of the tanks I have Pogotemon growing in do not have CO2 injection and the plant is thriving.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus does build a fairly strong root system, and as such requires a decent depth of substrate to sink its roots into. Although it is not too worried about what the actual substrate is.

I have it growing in normal aquarium gravel, crushed lava rock, and very coarse sand. I didn’t have much success growing it in fine sand, like play sand. The roots never got going and the bottom of the stem rotted.

I have had really good results when I have grown Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus in Fluval Stratum, a small round substrate made of volcanic soil. The roots seem to sink in easily and really spread.



Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Maintenance

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is not a plant that demands much maintenance. The only real maintenance task required is trimming. This plant grows fast and unruly. If you want it to look even remotely tidy, it will probably require weekly trimming.

For this reason, I would not use it in a highly aquascaped tank, but rather in breeding tanks and informal setups.

Trimming Pogostemon Stellatus is an easy job. Simply take a pair of sharp scissors and cut at any point along the stem, although ideally above a leaf. The piece of stem trimmed off can either be added to the compost pile or replanted into the substrate. Any stems pushed into the substrate will quickly develop roots and begin to grow.

The fact that Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is so easily propagated is one of the reasons I recommend it to hobbyists as an ideal plant to grow for profit.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Potted Stems Live Aquarium Plants Freshwater Tank Decoration
106 Reviews
Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Potted Stems Live Aquarium Plants Freshwater Tank Decoration
  • LIVE AQUATIC PLANT : 1 Potted Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Plant as a groups to create awesome looking in your tank.
  • EASY TO GROW : NO need any special maintenance, color of the leaves will be depending on the level of light and will turn bronze with High lighting. Do well in fully submerged, prefer clean water, rich nutrient environment.
  • EXCELLENT HIDING PLACE : Provide the safety place for your aquarium pets. Make them feel comfortable by adding live Aquatic plants. They can hide from the prayer between planting area
  • PROVIDES AMAZING ENVIRONMENT : Live aquatic plants will produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide to enhance water quality in your aquarium community. Adding live plants not only beneficial for the natural ecosystem but also giving shelter and security place for your aquarium pets.
  • HIGH TECHNOLOGY : Our plants grown by using the latest technology and facility with digital controlled nursery to ensure that our plants are diseases pest snail and algae free.

Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fertilizing Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a plant that benefits from the addition of liquid fertilizer. Adding fertilizer once a week will ensure the Pogostmeon has access to all the nutrients it needs to grow strongly.

I have always found Easy Green, which is made by Aquarium Co-op is the most effective fertilizer to use. You just add a few squirts each week and leave the plants to grow.

Whilst you could also add root tabs to the substrate, I haven’t found Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus to really benefit from the addition of root-based fertilizers.




Common Problems with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

The problem with plants that grow really quickly is that they can also die really quickly. Recognizing you have an issue with your Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, and then dealing with it quickly is the best way to ensure your plant lives on for many years.

Discoloration (leaves turning yellow)

If your Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus starts to turn yellow or pale brown, there is a good chance the problem is a nutrient deficiency. When fast-growing stem plants are lacking in nutrients they quickly begin to lose their color. Left untreated the plant may die within a couple of weeks. Adding more nutrients, usually in the form of liquid aquarium fertilizer will stop the problem from spreading and the color will soon return to the leaves.

Melting (plant dying back rapidly)

Although Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is not known to melt as some other plants do, occasionally, when moved from one tank to another, the plant goes into a kind of shock, and the leaves all die back rapidly. The solution here is just to give the plant time. providing the rootstock isn’t melting, the plant will regrow fairly quickly.

Rapid Overgrowth

Sometimes, when our Pogostemons get too much light or too much fertilizer, they can start to grow out of control, maybe growing as much as 12″ (30cm) a week. This can lead to having to cut the plant back often otherwise the tank will look a mess. To solve this problem, dial back the lighting and/or fertilizer and see if the growth stabilizes. If it doesn’t cut the Pogostemon back hard, maybe to just a couple of inches off the substrate.

Propagating Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

As mentioned above, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is an incredibly easy plant to propagate. The ease with which we can make more is the main reason I recommend it so often as a plant to grow for profit.

The procedure to propagate Pogostemon is as follows;

Step 1

Take a sharp pair of scissors and cut a single stem of the Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus just above a leaf node.

Step 2

Gently place the freshly cut stem into the substrate, taking care not to crush the stem between your fingers or damage it as you push it into the substrate.

Step 3

Continue to give the new cutting good light and weekly liquid fertilizer and wait for the roots and fresh growth to form.

Providing the new cutting stays in the substrate it will quickly develop its own root system and new growth will start to show. New growth will also start on the original piece, probably with two stems forming where the original stem was cut.



Growing Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus as a Floating Plant

As discussed above, one of the major benefits of Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is its ability to hide baby fish from their ever-hungry parents. In so many of my breeding tanks I have floating plants, and Pogostemon is a great candidate.

When grown as a floating plant, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus forms an almost impenetrable mass that baby fish can sneak into, but adult fish who may wish to prey on them can’t. It also creates a perfect line of sight block, meaning for the babies it’s out of sight, out of mind.

There is no doubt that in my Guppy, Molly, Platy, and Swordtail breeding tanks, baby survival rates are much higher when a large, floating bunch of Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is in the tank.

To create a clump of floating Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, simply drop one or more stems of the plant into a tank, and leave it. It will soon grow, and if you cut the stems on a regular basis, the size of the clump will grow even quicker.

Other Plants That Can Be Grown With Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

Pogostemon Stellastus Octopus can essentially live with any other plant. I can’t think of a single plant that would affect the Pogostemon. Just looking around my own tanks, I currently grow it with Water Sprite, Amazon Sword Plants, Java Fern, Hygrophilia Corymbosa, and Mermaid Weed.

Although it wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on the Pogostemon, it is probably best not to grow it with low growing carpeting plants like Dwarf Hairgrass, Monte Carlo, and Baby Tears as I think the Pogostemon would shade out the carpet plants, leading to patches of dead or dying plants.



What Fish Can Live with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus?

There are a huge number of fish that can live in a tank with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus. I especially like to keep livebearers in tanks with Pogostemon growing, but I also have many Tetras and Gouramis too.

Looking around my fish room, I currently have each of the following fish in tanks with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus;

There are some fish I would probably avoid with Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus. Common Goldfish and Fancy Goldfish will probably eat it, as will Tinfoil Barbs. African Cichlids and some of the larger South American Cichlids will also quickly destroy the Pogostemon.

Benefits to Growing Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

In my experience, there are two major benefits to growing Pogostemon Steallatus Octopus, aside from the fact that growing live plants in our aquariums just makes them look more natural.

Firstly, as mentioned above, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is an amazing plant to grow in tanks where we are breeding fish, especially when breeding livebearers. The mass of stems, leaves, and roots that form when Pogostemon really gets going provides a safe haven where baby fish can hide from their predatory parents.

I would say growing Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus in my breeding tanks has been the one thing that really boosted production.

Secondly, as Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is such a fast-growing plant, it also consumes excess ammonia and nitrate that is in the aquarium water as a result of fish waste. When fish go to the bathroom their waste is very high in ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, like almost every other live plant, absorbs some of that ammonia, making the aquarium water a safer place for the fish to live.

I would also point out that Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a great plant to grow in tanks where Red Cherry Shrimp live, especially if fish are present as the plant gives the shrimp somewhere to hide so the fish don’t eat them.

Where to Buy Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus?

Although Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is a really easy plant to grow, it is not always sold in local fish stores. If you have a local fish store that really knows their plants, there is a good chance they will sell it.

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Potted Stems Live Aquarium Plants Freshwater Tank Decoration
106 Reviews
Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Potted Stems Live Aquarium Plants Freshwater Tank Decoration
  • LIVE AQUATIC PLANT : 1 Potted Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus Plant as a groups to create awesome looking in your tank.
  • EASY TO GROW : NO need any special maintenance, color of the leaves will be depending on the level of light and will turn bronze with High lighting. Do well in fully submerged, prefer clean water, rich nutrient environment.
  • EXCELLENT HIDING PLACE : Provide the safety place for your aquarium pets. Make them feel comfortable by adding live Aquatic plants. They can hide from the prayer between planting area
  • PROVIDES AMAZING ENVIRONMENT : Live aquatic plants will produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide to enhance water quality in your aquarium community. Adding live plants not only beneficial for the natural ecosystem but also giving shelter and security place for your aquarium pets.
  • HIGH TECHNOLOGY : Our plants grown by using the latest technology and facility with digital controlled nursery to ensure that our plants are diseases pest snail and algae free.

Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In Conclusion

Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus is quite a mouthful to say, but it really is a superb plant to grow. Whether you are looking to grow plants to enhance the feel of your aquarium, to give your baby fish somewhere to hide, or because you want to try growing some plants and selling them for a profit, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus might be the one to try.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
Editor

Article Sources:

https://www.tfhmagazine.com/articles/aquatic-plants/pogostemon-stellatus

https://www.aquariumcoop.com/collections/live-plants/products/pogostemon-stellatus-octopus